Seventeen students took the wrong university entrance exam last Friday after their school registered 20 of them for the incorrect visual arts paper, according to the city’s assessment authority.
A spokeswoman said the Hong Kong Examination and Assessment Authority received a letter from the Queen Elizabeth School Old Students’ Association Secondary School on Monday saying it had mistakenly applied for its visual arts students to take Paper 1 (Visual Presentation of a Theme) instead of Paper 2 (Design), which the students had studied for.
Paper 1 assesses candidates’ understanding and appreciation of artwork and artistic visual presentation of a theme. The paper requires them to write a critical appreciation of the reproductions of artwork provided, create a piece of artwork to present a theme and present an artwork statement.
Paper 2 assesses candidates’ understanding of design and their ability to solve given design problems in an innovative way. The paper requires them to write a critical appreciation of the reproductions of design provided, solve design problems and present a design work statement.
The spokeswoman said the authority had received a request from the school to “handle the matter with discretion”.
According to the report by the centre supervisor at the examination venue, some of the candidates involved informed an invigilator of the mistake, she said, adding that the supervisor had followed assessment authority guidelines.
“The case will be referred to the standing committee of the HKEAA for investigation and follow-up. The HKEAA has not received reports of any other similar cases,” the spokeswoman said.
According to Apple Daily, the school’s vice-principal said three of the 20 visual arts students, who were registered for the wrong paper, managed to head to an examination centre in the same district to take Paper 2, while the remaining 17 remained at the examination centre to sit for Paper 1.
The vice-principal also said that the mistake was unexpected and had not occurred in previous years, adding that the school was not sure whether it was a human or system error.
The authority reiterated that candidates were issued a checklist when they registered for the exam allowing them to check their personal information and the subject and paper they had applied for.
It also said that it did not have arrangements to fax examination papers to non-designated examination centres for students not registered for the paper.
The authority also said that before the beginning of the examination, a test director would announce the examination subject, paper and language it was tested in.
Should candidates inform the director that they had registered for the wrong paper, he or she would inform the students that they could decide whether to take the paper at the original exam venue or head to the nearest venue offering the paper they intended to sit for, the spokeswoman said.
She noted that the candidates involved would have to write a report, and if they could not explain why they headed to the wrong exam centre more than once, they would have marks deducted.